Why Ipswich Town are part of a unique group of 11 clubs linked to Spanish giants Real Madrid

Ipswich Town beat Real Madrid 1-0 at Portman Road in 1973

Ipswich Town beat Real Madrid 1-0 at Portman Road in 1973 - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town may be firmly stuck in mid-table of the English third tier, but they still retain a place amongst a unique group of clubs around the word. 

Chelsea’s Champions League draw with Real Madrid on Tuesday evening has brought a special selection of sides to the fore, with only 11 teams across the globe holding a positive record against the Spanish giants, who have won the European Cup a record 13 times. 

And Ipswich are part of that group, by virtue of their two matches against Los Blancos in the 1970s. 

Sir Bobby Robson’s side met Real in the first round of the UEFA Cup in 1973, with the Blues coming out aggregate victors thanks to a deflected Mick Mills shot which secured a 1-0 first-leg victory at Portman Road, before a 0-0 draw in Spain sealed Town’s progression. 

Robson’s side made it to the last eight that season, beating Lazio and FC Twente before falling to Lokomitive Leipzig.  

But it’s their victory over and subsequent draw with Real Madrid which has secured their place among esteemed company, with Chelsea (W2 D1 L0), Arsenal (W1 D1 L0) and Aberdeen (W1 D0 L0) the only other British clubs to hold the upper hand over the Spanish giants in the record books.  

Boca Juniors (Argentina), Necaxa (Mexico), CD Toledo (Spain), Peñarol (Uruguay), CSKA Moscow (Russia) and Benfica (Portugal) also make the list, with none of those sides facing Real more than four times. 

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But it’s Bayern Munich whose presence is most-significant, with the two sides meeting 26 times and the German giants winning 12 compared to Real’s 11, along with three draws. 

Town, of course, hold a 31-game unbeaten home record in European competition, winning 25 and drawing six. 

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